Global retail sales of consumer electronics will increase by 10% to $964 billion in 2011 from $873 billion in 2010, according to projections released by the Consumer Electronics Association and the research firm GfK.
Steve Koenig, director of industry analysis at the Consumer Electronics Association thinks those retail sales could even top the magic $1 trillion mark this year. "If the economy holds up, $1 trillion is well within reach," Koenig says.
The CEA is also projecting a healthy 15% pop in North American retail sales.
Koenig attributed the growth to a recovering economy, technological innovations like the iPad, growing demand for CE products in developing markets and pent up consumer demand.
The results are important for broadcasters and TV companies because connected TVs, tablets, smart phones and other video-friendly devices will comprise a major part of the sales. The CES is projecting that about 171 million connected devices--TVs, tablets, and other devices that can be connected to the Internet--will be sold in 2011.
TV sales will be relatively flat, increasing from $262 billion in 2010 to $266 in 2011, but LCD sales will show a healthy bounce from $182 billion in 2010 to $197 billion this year.
In discussing some of the main tech trends for 2011, Shawn Dubravac, chief economist and director of research at the CEA, argued that "2011 will be the year of the tablet."
The CEA is expecting that worldwide tablets sales should nearly double in 2011 to almost 30 million units, up from around 17 million this year, and that over 100 different tablet models will be on display at this week's CES, Dubravac says.
Another hot category will be TVs that can be connected to the Internet. About 3.2 million of them were sold in 2010, amounting to about 9% of all sets sold, but those shipments will jump to 5.2 million in 2011 and hit 16.3 million in 2016, when they will account for about 52% of all digital TVs shipped.
In contrast, about 1.1 million 3D sets were shipped in 2010, about 3% of the total. The CEA is projecting sales of around 2 million 3D sets in 2011.
The CEA research indicates that traditional TV channels remain the focus of much of the viewing on connected TV sets. About 89% of those surveyed by CEA reported that they were using their connected sets to watch programming supplied by a service provider but only 8% said they were watching downloaded content and just 6% were accessing Internet content.